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Sustainable AC and ventilation at the Swedish Expo 2020 pavilion

During the ceremony of the Swedish pavilion at the Expo 2020 site in Dubai (UAE), the Systemair Group introduced the air conditioning and ventilation solutions it is going to provide for the building named ‘The Forest’.

Right: Systemair’s vice-president, Kurt Maurer.

In line with the Expo’s theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the HVAC system will see state-of-the-art engineering, digital control solutions, and sensor technologies.

Systemair is emphasising energy efficiency and a healthy indoor air quality. A publicly available augmented reality application will enable visitors to interactively explore the functioning, benefits, and importance of indoor climate technologies.

Systemair’s vice-president, Kurt Maurer, remarked: “Being a highly complex, unique structure, the Swedish Expo 2020 pavilion provides us with the opportunity to showcase our capabilities in providing high-end HVAC solutions from concept to completion.

'More significantly, it allows us to highlight the role ventilation and air conditioning plays in saving energy, protecting the planet, while providing a healthy indoor environment for ourselves and future generations.”

The event opens on 20 October 2020 and lasts for six months, with 192 countries expected to participate.

Below is an interview with Morten Schmelzer, Systemair’s technical marketing director, with regard to the company’s involvement with ‘The Forest’:

Interviewer: Could you elaborate more on the technical aspects of the HVACR solutions that will be showcased in the pavilion, especially in relation to digital control and sensor technologies? Were they designed specific for the pavilion? Would you say the solutions are scalable for other projects as well?

Morten Schmelzer: “In the Swedish pavilion, we will apply air conditioning and ventilation systems and solutions which are, so far, unused in the region. It is a key objective for us to showcase for visitors the range of Systemair technical capabilities provided by our manufacturing facilities across the world.

“Throughout the pavilion, we have implemented our latest generation of Geniox air handling units with the best possible cooling recovery; our compact air cooled SysAqua chillers for high ambient temperature conditions; Frico air curtains to reduce the heat infiltration into areas such as the restaurant and shop and to prevent conditioned air escaping from those areas; and fan coil units.

“All products are interlinked through a centralised control system, which uses sensor information to assess the actual demand and air quality requirements in each room or area throughout the day.

“The overall system is designed and optimised for the requirements of the Swedish pavilion. We specifically opted to not develop any new product for the pavilion, but to focus on the wide-range of solutions we already have in our HVAC portfolio which can be applied today. We are activating the future now, not waiting until tomorrow.

“At Systemair, we have been highly active in the Middle East for many years with our own local presence and experience with high ambient conditions. Customers throughout the GCC, know us and trust us to manufacture and supply high quality products and reliable solutions.”

It has been mentioned that Systemair highlights the importance of both energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality. Traditionally, there are concerns that IEQ comes at the cost of energy efficiency, especially in Middle East countries where high ambient temperatures put a heavy burden on the cooling systems. In view of the solutions being showcased in the pavilion, how does Systemair showcase that both indoor environmental quality and energy efficiency are not mutually exclusive and can both be achieved? Is technology the path forward for doing so?

“There is a general misconception, especially in the Middle East, that achieving improved IEQ comes with a degradation of energy efficiency. This should not be the case, though several factors have to be taken in to account.

“Filters for example are absolutely essential when it comes to achieving a healthy indoor climate. Furthermore, in relationship to energy efficiency, high quality filters these days are manufactured with improved technology to reduce overall pressure drops and consequently put less load on the fans and have very high levels of filtration capacity and efficiency.

“This can be verified through the ‘Eurovent Certified Performance’ for air filters, and their respective filter classes/label in line with ISO16890. This new international standard generally offers an all-encompassing range of possibilities enabling the user to use the correct filter for the correct application. Unfortunately, the importance of air filters is not yet fully recognized by everyone, and applying the cheapest filter is often the primary goal.

“This will only result in system failure and, as a consequence, additional costs and not give any benefit whatsoever to improve IEQ.

“Through our solutions at Expo 2020, we aim to show why filters should receive more attention, especially after a system has been installed.

“Another important aspect is the control system in combination with sensor technologies.

“Through measuring the CO2 level and other relevant factors inside a building we are able to provide ventilation and air conditioning in the most energy efficient and healthy manner according to the actual demand. As we are monitoring the demand through sensors, we save energy by not running units on full load at all times while still ensuring that a healthy indoor air quality is being provided.

“Keeping HVACR equipment clean and properly maintained has a major impact on energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Unfortunately, this is outside of our control, but needs specific attention.

“Many factors have been taken into account when designing the air conditioning and ventilation system for the Swedish pavilion at Expo 2020.

“When entering the building, exploring the excitement of the event, discovering Swedish food in the restaurant and being business like in the conference rooms, visitors will literally feel the difference.”

Could you elaborate more on the augmented reality application and how it will underscore the benefits of indoor climate technologies to visitors of EXPO 2020? What can visitors look forward to and how will it serve to educate the wider public on the importance of IEQ and its impact on health, productivity and well-being?

“Ventilation and air conditioning equipment is usually placed on the roof, in a plant room or into a false ceiling. People take it for granted that they enter an air-conditioned room and have sufficient clean air to breathe.

“Through augmented reality, we will be able to make the so far invisible visible, increasing the understanding of what can be achieved by utilization of high quality products and solutions from Systemair.

“Of course, it is one of our goals to showcase Systemair’s state-of-the-art solution. Visitors will be able to interactively experience our products, see live data values, how they work together and how the air flows inside the building and what surrounds them.

“The main emphasis however will be on educating visitors on why a healthy indoor air quality is important, and how it can impact their lives. We will do so in close cooperation with our partners at Camfil, who are also sponsoring the pavilion.

“This is a start of a great adventure for every participant, for ourselves, our guests and visitors to the Swedish pavilion and to EXPO 2020.

“We will release more information about our system solutions over the forthcoming months as we head to the opening of this monumental extravaganza, which we are very proud to be part of.”

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